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Brains and Beauty: You Can Have Both?

Saturday Apr. 30th, 2011

Montana is often an escape destination for the rich and famous, but we can also boast home grown fame too. Brittany Wiser, who has lived in Bozeman her whole life, has won beauty pageants and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude when she majored in Pre-Med at The University of Denver. Brittany is a self-proclaimed nerd, who preferred to spend time reading rather than socializing, even through her years of college.

Brittany decided to enter the Miss Montana competition in the Miss America pageant, which is based on scholarship and academic achievement, after she saw an ad on TV near the end of her senior year of college. Everyone told Brittany that nobody ever wins the first time they enter a pageant, so it was a huge shock when she did in fact win her first pageant. Brittany served as Miss Montana America from June 2009 to June 2010. She then competed to be Miss Montana USA is September 2010 and won again.

Brittany is an avid supporter of community projects and feels strongly about giving back. Her wish, if she wins Miss USA in June will be to spend her year as Miss USA traveling and volunteering around the world. While a student in Denver, Brittany spent six weeks in India teaching 1st grade at a charity school and at night she taught ex-political prisoners from Tibet. Brittany toured and promoted a platform of suicide prevention, though the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, during her year as Miss Montana America. She is also a supporter and volunteer with Special Olympics.

Recently Brittany helped 102 girls living in the foster care system have the opportunity to feel like a princess for their prom. Several churches and organizations donated dresses, shoes, hair products, jewelry, etc. Then hair stylists and make-up artists did the girls hair and makeup. After they were ready, Brittany got to do her part.

Brittany had the honor of helping the girls feel special and watched them transform into confidant, posed, beautiful women with a little guidance, kindness, and individual attention. She taught them how to walk, pose for pictures or anything else they needed to feel ready to go to the prom beyond the hair, outfit, and makeup. Brittany got to help them grow as people on the inside. She loved seeing the girls realize what they had to offer and share with the world and how much that affected and build their confidence.

Brittany was amazed and astonished to discover how much of a difference a few minutes could make to transform the girls into confidant, excited, beautiful women for their special night. It is an event Brittany will never forget because it changed her life as well as the lives of many girls, saying, “how much a few minutes could impact each girl was worth the whole thing for me.”

The experience in the pageants has taught and helped Brittany grow and change as a person in a positive way. He feels she is better prepared for the rest of her life, whatever it holds, because of her pageant experiences. She has met amazing women and life long friends through the process.

Brittany plans to continue her education, even if new and unexpected career paths have become available to her through the competitions. She values education, even if she doesn’t become a doctor as she originally planned. Life has taken a wonderful and unexpected turn.

Growing up, all Brittany thought she had going for her was her brain. She knew she was smart, but that was all she thought she had to offer. Her dad told her “just keep doing what you are doing and it will pay off as long as you stay true to yourself.” Brittany said it was some of the best advice she has ever gotten and it has paid off and she has found she has more to offer than her brain. She has now embraced the nerd part of herself and is proud of it. Confidence is what makes you beautiful.

Brittany’s advice to all girls is to stay 100% true to yourself – no matter what. Winning a pageant is just the beginning; she still has a ton of work to do and gets all kinds of criticism on a daily basis.

Though pageants can have a negative reputation, Brittany says her experience has been so much fun. “It is all about attitude. The person with the best attitude wins.” According to Brittany. Given that she has also won Miss Congeniality at the events as well, which is about attitude, she is definitely on the right track with her attitude to win
Miss USA.

Brittany Wiser will be representing the state of Montana as Miss Montana USA in the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pageant will air on NBC on June 19, 2011.

If you want to find out what Brittany is doing, where she is traveling, and how she does in the competition you can become a friend at become a fan at or follow her on twitter @RealMissMTusa

Lee Strickler is a freelance writer and network marketing professional, working on her MFA in Creative Writing through the University of New Orleans, residing in Bozeman with her family.